“Knock, knock, knock” I heard at the door one Saturday afternoon.
“Who could that be?” I asked myself. With Kyle out of town for training, I was enjoying my quiet time to study for the upcoming GREs. “Well, maybe it’s one of the neighbors who wants to say hi or to borrow something.” I thought to myself as I opened the door.
“Hi Erika!!!” said my 7th grade student excitedly with his hands behind his back holding something.
“Whoa!” I said, jumping back in surprise as he pulled out a rabbit.
“I got you a rabbit!” He proudly proclaimed.
“Why, yes, I can definitely see that that is a rabbit. Now, tell me all about how you caught it” I said.
He proceeded to tell me the story of how he shot the rabbit as we found some paper bags and plopped the rabbit down on the kitchen table. After this was done, my student headed out to go hunt more rabbits while I sat down to finish my studying. I had been in the middle of a practice set when the rabbit (and student) arrived, so I felt I had to finish out the section. As I sat there completing math problems I kept looking up just a smidge and seeing the bloody, fluffy rabbit right there on the table. Finally, I finished my math problems and felt ready to deal with the rabbit on the table.
First, I called Kyle, “Hi, honey….Umm, there’s a hare on the kitchen table. Our student just got it for us. It’s actually still warm. Should I try to butcher it now or should I just throw it in the freezer until you come back?”
“You can try to butcher it now,” he said.
“Are you sure? There’s a chance I’ll totally ruin it and we won’t be able to eat any of it.” I asked with trepidation.
“Yes, definitely go ahead,” he assured me.
“Ok, I can do this,” I said to myself as I hung up the phone. Conveniently, at that moment I saw another teacher friend walk by my window. I threw on shoes and ran outside to accost her, “Hey, how do I butcher this hare that is on my kitchen table?!”
Her answer, “Well, first you put it in a pot of boiling water, that helps the fur come off, then you slice it down the middle, and then you just pull the fur off like you’re taking a jacket off.”
“Alright, sounds easy enough. I think I can do this.” I replied. I was beginning to get braver as more people told me that I could do it. However, I wasn’t quite feeling brave enough to attempt it by myself. So I ran over to my neighbor’s apartment and asked if she would be willing to help.
“Well, I’ve never butchered anything before. I didn’t even like touching meat until I had to know how to cook it this year. But I guess I can help.” She said.
So there we were, two inexperience butchers, armed only with the oral directions I had gotten earlier and brief directions in my Cooking Alaskan cookbook. But we decided that we could do it ourselves, and lo and behold, that’s what we did.
I shall spare the reader details of the butchering. But I will tell you that we did successfully butcher the hare. As we put the edible meat into ziplocs and got rid of the extraneous body parts, my friend and I looked at each other proudly. We had done it! We had butchered a hare- all by ourselves!